President of Syria

The president of Syria, officially the president of the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic: رئيس سوريا), is the head of state of the Syrian Arab Republic. He is vested with sweeping powers that may be delegated, at his sole discretion, to his vice presidents. He appoints and dismisses the prime minister and other members of the Council of Ministers (the cabinet) and military officers.[2] Bashar al-Assad is the 20th and current president of Syria. Bashar is the son of former president, Hafez al-Assad, who was the longest-serving president serving 29 years. Bashar is currently the second longest-serving president marking the 20th year of his presidency in 2020 when he entered the post on 17 July 2000.

President of the Syrian Arab Republic
رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية
Coat of arms of Syria
Bashar al-Assad

since 17 July 2000
StyleHis Excellency
ResidencePresidential Palace
Tishreen Palace
Term lengthSeven years, maximum of one successive term [1]
Inaugural holderSubhi Barakat (French Mandate)
Shukri al-Quwatli (current constitution)
Formation17 April 1946
DeputyVice President of Syria

Term of office

Article 88 of the 2012 constitution states that the President serves a seven year term and "can be elected for only one more successive term."[3][4] Article 155 states that Article 88 applies to the President "as of the next presidential elections."[3]

Eligibility criteria

On 31 January 1973, Hafez al-Assad implemented a new Constitution, which led to a national crisis. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria must be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama, Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama. They labeled Assad as the "enemy of God" and called for a jihad against his rule.[5] Robert D. Kaplan has compared Assad's coming to power to "an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia—an unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries."[6] The main objection to the constitution from demonstrators was that Islam was not specified as the state religion.[7] In response to riots, the Syrian Constitution of 1973 was amended to stipulate that Islam was the religion of the president.[7]

A new constitution was approved in February 2012.[8] Article 84 of Syria's 2012 constitution requires that candidates for the presidency must:[3]

  1. Be at least 40 years old
  2. Be Syrian by birth, of parents who are Syrians by birth
  3. Enjoy civil and political rights and not convicted of a dishonorable felony, even if he was reinstated
  4. Not be married to a non-Syrian wife
  5. Have lived in Syria for 10 years continuously upon nomination

Further eligibility requirements in the 2012 constitution include:[3]

  • The religion of the President is Islam (Article 3)
  • A candidate must be supported by at least 35 members of the People's Assembly (Article 85)
  • The President cannot carry another nationality (Article 152)


Apart from executive authority relating to a wide range of governmental functions including foreign affairs, the president has the right to dissolve the People's Council, in which case a new council must be elected within ninety days from the date of dissolution.

Latest election

Bashar al-AssadBa'ath Party13,540,86095.19
Mahmoud Ahmad MareiDemocratic Arab Socialist Union470,2763.31
Abdullah Sallum AbdullahSocialist Unionist Party213,9681.50
Valid votes14,225,10499.90
Invalid/blank votes14,0360.10
Total votes14,239,140100.00
Registered voters/turnout18,107,10978.64
Source: Syrian Arab News Agency[9]


  1. Article 88 of the Syrian Constitution
  2. "Syria - The President and the Cabinet".
  3. "Syrian Arab Republic's Constitution of 2012" (PDF). February 26, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  4. "Qordoba - Translation of the Syrian Constitution Modifications 15-2-2012 | Citizenship | Presidents Of The United States". Scribd. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  5. Alianak 2007, p. 55.
  6. Kaplan, Robert (February 1993). "Syria: Identity Crisis". The Atlantic.
  7. "Further rioting in Syria reported". The New York Times. February 28, 1973.
  8. MacFarquhar, Neil; Cowell, Alan (February 27, 2012). "Syrians Said to Approve Charter as Battles Go On". The New York Times.
  9. "Dr. Bashar al-Assad elected President of the Syrian Arab Republic with the majority of votes". Syrian Arab News Agency. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
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